Events Culture in St Andrews

Lizzie shares her opinions on her first year experiencing the unique and ever-evolving social scene of St Andrews.

As a fresher, speaking to other UK students made my expectations for St Andrews nightlife low. Every YouTube video, social media post, and online forum warned its viewers that St Andrews doesn’t offer the same nightlife as in a city such as Manchester or London would. In my opinion, those statements underestimated the nightlife here because they disregarded the events put on every day. The abundance of events at St Andrews are what makes the days fun and the nights worth going out.

St Andrews automatically gains a bad reputation because of its population and location in the countryside. There are fewer clubs and bars than might be ideal for some students, but St Andrews doesn’t need any more places to go out. There’s always somewhere to go when you want to have fun, and part of that fun is bumping into every person you know at the events, in the streets, or getting food afterward. The small-town charm of St Andrews translates to the nightlife and event culture here. Nights can feel monotonous, but when events are put on by societies or other students, going to the same place three nights in a row won’t feel repetitive. The variety of options every night – including the weekdays – is substantial. Want a chill night out? Watch a performance or do a pub crawl with a society or your friends. Want to dance? Go to a music event at The Vic or The Rule. Want to be surrounded by almost no one except on Wednesdays? Go to the Union (if the bouncers let you in) and head to Club 601.


Source: Nicole Entin

The social scene in St Andrews is so good because events are put on by students for students. Most of the events involve drinking but there is always something for everyone to enjoy. Freshers Week is the most event-intensive week of the year. Whether it was Union events every night or societies promoting themselves by putting on launch parties at various bars or clubs, there was always something to do. After that week I thought it would slow down significantly with university starting, but I am constantly coaxed out of my bed to go out on a Tuesday or Thursday. Without the enticement of an event, I probably wouldn’t spend my money or time going out. But when I hear someone say it’s BPM, Throwbacks, or a themed party, it makes me excited for something new that isn’t available every night. The same effect is relevant to balls, concerts, or fashion shows. Since events aren’t everyday occurrences, they tend to be more popular amongst the students. No one would show up to the Union unless it was an event special night, and I wouldn’t be inclined to go to Aikman’s on a Monday unless there was an obscure party thrown by Danceworm. Events create the nightlife at St Andrews – especially for first-years who can’t host their own house parties yet.

At the same time, these events get pricey, and sometimes if you don’t buy a ticket to a fifty-pound ball then students can feel like they’re missing out. The expense of paying for the events and then buying drinks or food when you’re out can drain the bank account and hinder some students from enjoying the same University experience that others don’t have to worry about. St Andrews is already an expensive place to live, but to add missing out on aspects of your student experience because you can’t afford it is the worst part of the event culture. The competitiveness to get tickets to certain events is understandable but also an inconvenience if all your friends get tickets to Welly Ball or Starfields, but you are the only friend missing out because FIXR didn’t load.


Source: Nicole Entin

Still, some events are worth it, and others I wouldn’t spend money on to go to again. There is always at least some event going on every night or day which makes this small town lively, and I am never bored if I don’t want to be. Students are the backbone of the event culture here because of the mentality where you can go out every night or stay in every weekend and still have fun. Any event can be made fun with enough people, even if it’s at the Union.



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